The restaurant industry is ever-changing and constantly evolving. One of the most important restaurant trends in recent years has been the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).
This is much more than just automated kitchens and robot servers. And, contrary to what we’ve seen in many books, films, and TV shows, it is not some evil entity that will someday use restaurant technology to outsmart us and take over the world.
At the same time, there is no denying its impact. AI has helped several industries, including full-service restaurants (FSRs) and quick service restaurants (QSRs) alike, find success in new and exciting ways.
While it might seem unnecessary for the average restaurateur, this technology is not out of reach. Read on to learn how restaurants are using artificial intelligence in both the front and the back of the house to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and boost their bottom line.
A.I. Boosts the Customer Experience
While A.I. and robots cannot yet recreate the human touch that makes a restaurant experience such an important part of our cultural landscape, there is a lot it can do to help.
Personalised customer experience (CX) customizes the guest experience to individual needs, wants, and desires. There are many ways that AI can be used to personalize CX in restaurants: It can help restaurants increase sales by encouraging customers to order more food and drink, encourage customer loyalty by making customers feel appreciated, and help reduce costs by improving efficiency in both front of house and back of house operations.
AI in the Restaurant Industry
Artificial intelligence allows restaurants to provide more personalized experiences to their customers. Some specific examples of how restaurants are using AI to enhance the customer experience include:
- Automated Ordering: AI-powered chatbots offer useful recommendations and information about the menu to help customers place their orders quickly and easily. AI-powered recommendation engines can suggest dishes, drinks, and other items to customers based on their past orders, preferences, and dietary restrictions.
- Personalized Menu Recommendations: AI can provide menu recommendations based on previous orders, preferences, and dietary restrictions to create a tailored dining experience.
- Smart Customer Service: Chatbots provide customers with information about the menu, answer questions, and provide personalized recommendations. AI phone answering technology is now available to take messages, make or alter reservations, or add a name to the waiting list. It can even answer common questions about restaurant hours, dog-friendly patios, disability and allergen accommodations and more.
- Automated Table Service: AI can take orders, deliver food, clear tables, and take care of other mundane tasks. This saves time and money and boosts efficiency for short-staffed or busy restaurants.
- Smart Kitchen Management: AI-powered systems can manage inventory in the back of the house, optimize food preparation, and reduce food waste.
- AI Marketing: AI algorithms can help restaurants better target their marketing efforts and maximize ROI by analyzing customer data, identifying trends, and creating targeted marketing campaigns. AI predictive analytics can be used to predict customer behavior and personalize CX – sending targeted marketing emails, offering discounts to customers most likely to visit or make a purchase, etc.
- Customer Segmentation: AI can identify customers who order specific menu items or dine at specific times. Customer segmentation allows restaurants to create personalized experiences for each segment of customers, helping restaurants better understand their customers.
- Boost restaurant operations: AI can automate menial tasks like inventory management, employee scheduling, performance tracking, and more. Apps can also be used to monitor food safety and freshness, cutting food waste.
These are just a few examples of how restaurants are using AI to enhance the customer experience. Like the industry it serves, AI technology is constantly changing. Restaurants and restaurateurs are finding new ways to use AI, offering better service and more personalized experiences for their customers while improving efficiency and saving money as well.
While AI is still a very new piece of the restaurant industry, it has the potential to revolutionize the way that restaurants interact with their customers. By providing personalized recommendations, predictive analytics, and other AI-powered services, restaurants can create a more memorable and enjoyable experience for their customers.
NCCO is Your A.I. and Robotics Partner
AI might seem like an intimidating subject to many less tech-savvy restaurateurs, the bottom line is that it’s earned its place in the restaurant industry’s future. AI is here to stay, and along with it, many benefits for independent restaurants that embrace the trend.
NCCO is here to help along the way. From automated labeling systems like the DateCodeGenie, to custom-branded products that support your AI marketing campaigns, and all the kitchen supplies you need to help keep up with changing times and customer demographics, we have everything you need to be successful.